23 June 2015

How To Cure a Cold Naturally without Medication!

Last time I had a cold was a couple of months ago and this one struck hard! It was the last in a string of colds I'd had and I was starting to get sick and tired (no pun intended) of how many colds I kept getting, seeing as I consider myself a fairly healthy and active individual. I was also sick of how much money I was wasting on over the counter cold and flu medicines that never seemed to work. 

After getting to my wits end and reading many blog posts and articles on the Internet about the best ways to cure colds, many of them preaching about natural remedies,  I decided this time round I was determined not to reach for the pills. After 3 days of resting up and using some simple natural remedies my cold was completely gone which I was astounded at as my colds normally last a couple of weeks. 

Since that day I've decided to completely shun all over the counter medication, I normally pop a couple of paracetamol at even the mention of a headache, and I haven't (touch wood) had a cold since. 

So here's 5 tips that can help you cure your cold naturally too: 

1) Get in the greens

green vegetables vitamin c
Green vegetables contain lots of vitamin C

Most people recommend eating oranges when you have a cold because of the vitamin C that it contains which we all know is great for fighting colds. However, lots of vegetables actually contain more vitamin C than the humble orange.  Oranges also contain sugar which, although all natural and not that bad refined kind, depletes the immune system - not good when you have a cold!

When you've got a cold and you're feeling a bit down in the dumps its also very easy to 'treat' yourself with naughty snacks, especially if you're too weak to even think about cooking. This is the worst thing to do as when we're sick it's even more important to fill our bodies with as many nutrients as possible to help us get back to normal.

Veggies that contain more vitamin C than oranges are Kale, red peppers, broccoli, cauliflower and even brussels sprouts. As soon as you feel a little sniffle coming on reach for the greens instead of a juice!

2) Keep Active

Exercise colds
Exercise gently during a cold 

Although the best thing to do when you have a cold is to get lots of rest, engaging in a few gentle exercises can help cleanse your system to help get over colds faster. If you can manage to get out of bed some simple yoga moves can help clear congestion, detox and activate your organs as well as alleviate sinus pressure and encourage white blood cells to move through our bodies. I personally recommend seated spinal twists, downward dog and alternate nostril breathing. 

Exercise in general can also help de-stress - stress being one of the most notorious culprits for diminishing our immune systems.

3) Camomile Tea

camomile tea sleep
Camomile tea for a restful nights sleep

This night time herbal tea is great for two reasons. Firstly, a cup just before bed can help you to have a lovely, restful night's sleep which is much needed when the symptoms of colds like a blocked nose and a tickly cough prevent us from getting to sleep at night. Some also say the tea has antibacterial and antioxidant properties which is why it's used all over the world as a way to help cure colds. 

4) Zinc

Strawberries dark chocolate zinc
Strawberries and dark chocolate contain Zinc

Zinc helps the body heal itself and is often used as a cream to speed up the recovery of cuts and grazes. It can even double the recovery time when we're ill. The body doesn't naturally store Zinc so it's really important that we try and get enough in our day to day lives. 

Technically you can get the recommended daily dose of zinc that we need in a normal balanced diet but if you'd like a little extra foods like dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, strawberries and garlic contain a lot of zinc. Alternatively you can do what I did and take a zinc supplement.

5) Salt Water

salt water cure colds
Salt water cure for colds

Salt water is one of my favourite things to help cure a cold. You can use a saline spray or a neti pot to irrigate all the nasties out of your nose or gargle salt water for a sore throat. The NHS website itself even recommends it! I often use these methods for helping to alleviate the symptoms of hay fever too! 

If you have any tips of tricks for curing colds, please leave a comment!

Isobel x

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